“Living is the original art,” Mark Nepo says. I love that. While many of our trips to Italy are art based, every one of our trips is based on the idea that life is, or at least certainly can be, art. At one time we considered doing an “Artful Living” trip. Ultimately, we just decided to make every trip a life-is-art experience by its very nature and character. The slow travel that all of us in Slow Travel Tours promote and employ in our trips lends itself to experiencing life as art.
Of course, Italy and Orvieto epitomize artful living. It is what attracts us to them. We tend to forget life is art as we go about our busy lives. Any vacation can return us to this understanding. But one to Italy, when you go slow enough to enjoy the place rather than trying to see it all, immerses you in life as art. You see it in the way people dress. You enjoy it when you eat on tables with linens – most restaurants use linens. You appreciate it with the care that the coffee is made and presented. You recognize it in the ancient monuments so beautifully built and decorated. It infuses everything.
One little example. When you step up to the bar for a cappuccino at Scarponni’s in Orvieto, Stefano always spins the cup on the plate so the handle is to the right. He puts the spoon on the plate so the handle faces you on the right of the cup. Always. Then he pours in the frothed milk in front of you. It is this kind of simple gesture happening around you all the time that you begin to absorb.
Living is the original art. Slow travel helps remind of us that!
Kristi and Bill Steiner began leading “learning vacations” to Orvieto, Italy in 2003. Through Adventures in Italy they provide a cultural immersion experience. Many trips include the pursuit of some kind of creative work that complements and reinforces exploration of Italy’s culture. Relationships built over the years enable Kristi and Bill to provide experiences that a typical visitor to Orvieto never gets.
Learn more about Kristi and Bill’s trips. Stay abreast of Adventures in Italy developments, and follow Bill’s musings about travel and Italy on his blog Make Haste Slowly. View Bill’s photos of Italy, Orvieto, and other memorable places at steinerstudiophotos.com.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.